1. Then Darius the king made a decree, and a search was made in the house of the scrolls where the treasures were laid up in Babylon.
2. And there was found at Achmetha, in the palace that was in the province of the Medes, a scroll. And in it was a record thus written:
3. “In the first year of Cyrus the king, Cyrus the king made a decree concerning the house of God at Jerusalem: ‘Let the house be built, the place where they offered sacrifices, and let the foundations of it be strongly laid. The height of it shall be sixty cubits, and the breadth of it shall be sixty cubits,
4. With three rows of great stones and a row of new timber. And let the expenses be given out of the king’s house.
5. And also let the gold and silver vessels of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took out of the temple at Jerusalem, and brought to Babylon, be restored and brought again to the temple which is at Jerusalem, to their place, and put them in the house of God.’ ”
6. “Now, therefore, Tattenai, governor of the province beyond the River, Shethar- Boznai, and your companions, the officials beyond the River, keep away from there.
7. Let the work of this house of God alone. Let the governor of the Jews and the elders of the Jews build this house of God in its place.
8. Moreover, I make a decree as to what you shall do for the elders of these Jews for the building of this house of God, that at once expense be given to these men from the king’s goods, from the tax beyond the River, so that they may not be hindered.
9. And that which they have need of, both young bulls and rams and lambs, for the burnt offerings of the God of heaven, wheat, salt, wine, and oil, according to the request of the priests at Jerusalem, let it be given them day by day without fail,
10. So that they may offer sacrifices of sweet savors to the God of heaven, and pray for the life of the king and of his sons.
11. Also I have made a decree that whoever shall alter this word, let timber be pulled down from his house and be lifted up, and let him be hanged on it. And let his house be made a dunghill for this.
12. And may the God who has caused His name to dwell there, overthrow all kings and people who shall put their hand to alter or to destroy this house of God which is at Jerusalem. I, Darius, have made a decree. Let it be done with all diligence.”
13. Then Tattenai, governor of the province beyond the River, Shethar-Boznai, and their companions, according to that which Darius the king had sent, did so speedily.
14. And the elders of the Jews built, and they were prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. And they built and finished it according to the command of the God of Israel, and according to the decree of Cyrus, and Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia.
15. And this house was finished on the third day of the month Adar, in the sixth year of the reign of Darius the king.
16. And the children of Israel, the priests, and the Levites, and the rest of the children of the captivity kept the dedication of this house of God with joy.
17. And they offered at the dedication of this house of God a hundred bulls, two hundred rams, and four hundred lambs. And for a sin offering for all Israel, twelve he-goats, according to the number of the tribes of Israel.
18. And they set the priests in their sections, and the Levites in their divisions, for the service of God which is at Jerusalem, as it is written in the book of Moses.
19. And the children of the captivity kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month.
20. The priests and the Levites were purified together, all of them pure. And they killed the Passover lamb for all the children of the captivity, and for their brethren the priests, and for themselves.
21. And the children of Israel ate the Passover lamb, all who had come again out of exile, and all such as had separated themselves to them from the uncleanness of the nations of the land in order to seek the LORD God of Israel.
22. And they kept the Feast of Unleavened Bread seven days with joy, for the LORD had made them joyful, and had turned the heart of the king of Assyria to them to make their hands strong in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel.
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